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For over 10 years I’ve been a small business owner, during this time I have noticed a complete lack of top quality business events aimed at SME owners in Northern Ireland!
Whilst there is good support for larger companies from the likes of Invest NI and for business start-ups from local enterprise agencies, there is a massive void for all those small-medium sized business owners who are looking for inspiration and high level support from world leading, successful experts to help them improve their business.
Like many of my friends in business I have found that in order to access these prestigious events with world class speakers, I have had to travel to England, usually London and sometimes Manchester.
I know from experience that to attend a one day event in London or Manchester will cost me at least 2-3 times more than for those living in England (due to travel, food and accommodation costs). In fact I paid close to £1000 to attend a two day event last year – the ticket price for the event was only £150!!
This is a real stumbling block for many small business owners like myself. Because as a small business owner we can take our business to a certain point. When our business gets to that certain point, we need the inspiration and strategies from people that are more successful than we are so we can discover how we are able to grow and take our business to the next level.
If business owners are not supported at this stage their business starts to stagnate. They continue to do what they have always done and therefore continue to get the same results, or usually worse. In this economy, that is simply fatal.
I feel strongly that there are many talented and entrepreneurial business owners in Northern Ireland, who deserve to have access to world-class, business events right here in Northern Ireland.
I know first-hand the benefits of learning from the very best people, as one of my mentors is, Jairek Robbins, who has inspired me to “up my game” immensely. Also, I have been able to take my business global through the technology and system that I have learnt since becoming an Infusionsoft customer.
As a result of what I have learnt and having been inspired by my mentors, I took it upon myself to organise a world-class business event for the inspired entrepreneurs of Northern Ireland that usually do miss out.
This event is simply entitled “The Event 2011” it is being held in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on the 31st March 2011.
This one-day, multi-speaker event brings together internationally renowned speakers, Jairek Robbins from JRC and Colin Daymude from Infusionsoft, along with fantastic speakers closer to home. It will be a dynamic, high-energy day whereby people will walk away feeling inspired, armed with great “how to” strategies and a definitive plan of action for their business. There will be an emphasis on providing no/low cost strategies and techniques that business owners can implement in their own businesses.
For full details of The Event 2011, and all the speaker profiles, you can view the website: http://www.mikefountain.com/theevent2011/
This is something new and exciting for business owners in Northern Ireland. It’s been long overdue and will make a real, significant, positive impact on the businesses (and indeed the owners) that attend.
I know that an event like this will be absolutely sensational and rewarding for the small business community of Northern Ireland.
An amazing, world class, multi-speaker event for business owners is coming to Belfast. Simply entitled, “The Event 2011,” this one day event promises to be unlike anything ever seen in Northern Ireland before. In fact, that was one of the main reasons why organiser Mike Fountain wanted to put on such an event in the first place. Mike says, “A world class event like this, with high-value content and speakers of this calibre, is normally reserved for places like London. Whenever you consider the ticket price for London events, along with associated travel, accommodation and food costs, it usually means that such events become out of reach for NI business owners. I am thrilled to be bringing something as dynamic and inspirational as this to Belfast and it is especially for all those talented and entrepreneurial business owners here who would normally miss out on events like this but are crying out for them!”
Mike has sought the very best experts in their field for The Event 2011, with internationally and nationally renowned speakers taking part. The line up for this one day event is pretty impressive and includes Jairek Robbins. Jairek will be coming over from San Diego, USA, for what will be his first visit to Northern Ireland. Having worked with Fortune 500 companies and having attained The Congressional Award (Gold Medal) for his contribution to the personal development industry, this dynamic speaker will be a real star at this event. He is sought the world over for his inspiring and practical advice, at a range of prestigious events, and will give business owners real plans of action that they can implement in their business.
Also in the line up is Colin Daymude, also travelling over from the USA exclusively for The Event 2011. Colin is Director of Business Development for Infusionsoft, the world leader in email marketing solutions for small to medium sized business owners. He will be demonstrating how businesses are losing out on extra revenue by not following up with customers. Amongst the other speakers will be: Zoe Cairns from Kent, a leading authority on utilising social media sites, will present various no/low cost techniques for achieving maximum customer loyalty, sales and brand awareness; Simon Smith, NI Managing Area Director for BNI (Business Networking International), will be showing the audience how to network effectively and create extra business at no cost through word-of-mouth promotion, and lastly Darren Gardiner, owner of LSFXa real local success story who will be sharing his top tips for achieving success.
An amazing line-up of speakers for what should prove to be an amazing day. “The Event 2011” will only be running for one day, so spaces are extremely limited. Mike says, “ This unique event for Northern Ireland business owners will focus on developing the mindset required for success, as well as lots of practical no/low cost techniques for increasing sales. Interest is already high given the calibre of speakers who will be attending. In order to have the best chance of securing a ticket for this event, business owners should visit the website at http://www.mikefountain.com/theevent2011 and register their interest before the 24th February. Anyone who does this will be able to purchase their ticket from the 25th February (before they go on general release on 1st March), with a special discount of £75! Do not miss out on what is expected to be the business event that everyone will be talking about!”
The Event 2011 will be taking place in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on 31st March. See the website www.mikefountain.com/theevent2011 for more details.
So OK, I’m Mike Fountain.
A 41-year old Welsh man living in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. I live with my gorgeous partner Catherine, our three happy young children and our adopted cat Georgie.
I make a great living helping men, women and children to achieve their full potential by showing them how to really embrace life and become a success whether that is in personal lives or their businesses if they have one.
As you’re reading this it may sound to you that I have a great life, family and business and to be honest with you I do. I’m really very lucky to have what I now have. But it wasn’t always like that, in fact for many years my life was the complete opposite.
Here’s what my life was REALLY like…
I grew up in what felt like a normal family, my Dad was self-employed and my Mum looked after the house, me and my older brother as our older brother and sisters had left home.
We lived on a farm, a pub and a restaurant during my early years, which were fantastic and really enjoyable. I remember feeling so loved, cared for and supported.
This started to change from the 11th of August 1981.
On that day a car knocked me down. My right leg was broken in two places and I received life-threatening injuries to my head.
After arriving in hospital I spent the following 2-3 weeks in intensive care without gaining full consciousness or memory. My parents were informed that I had been resuscitated twice on admittance to the hospital and while I was now alive I was critical with a 70% chance that I would not pull through!!
Eventually over time I did pull through and I was allowed home after 6-8 weeks or so. While I was grateful to be alive I had some pretty intense nightmares when I slept. The recovery process was going to be a long one both physically and emotionally.
As part of my ongoing recovery I was visited by a community nurse and it was after one of these visits that my life as I knew it shattered in front of me.
Here’s what happened…
About 10 minutes after the nurse left my father called me over to him and told me “Michael, I’ve got something to tell you, me and you’re Mum are not your real parents. You’re real mother is your sister, Michelle.”
I can’t even describe the confusion, anger and resentfulness that went through my mind at that time. I wanted to be hugged and told that everything was OK whilst at the same time just wanting to run away, but I couldn’t.
I remember crying and crying really hard, pushing people away from me so I could be by myself. I felt betrayed, cheated the neat little jigsaw of my family was now in pieces around me and I would never fit in it the same way ever again.
Not only had I very nearly died but, I’d also been lied too for 11-years. How could my life have changed so dramatically in only 3 short months?
I became a horrible young man over the years that followed. I was incredibly angry and untrusting with a huge chip on my shoulder.
I hated who I was and my family. I drank way too much, smoked and just was a disgrace. I bottled up my emotions and never expressed myself.
Looking back now it was a horrible 13 years, and I do feel really sorry for what I put people through. You see, regardless of what I did or said my Grandparents still loved me and considered me their son, that never stopped.
Aged 24 I KNEW I had to change…
This is the bit where my life starts to change for the better.
After initially seeking help from a local hypnotherapist in Wales I decided that I’d like to learn hypnosis as I’d really benefited from my sessions. I believed that by learning more about hypnosis and personal development I would be better able to help myself.
I was very fortunate in being taught and gaining certification in clinical hypnosis, clinical hypnotherapy, NLP and stress management over a 4-year period by some incredibly skilled and considerate people.
During these 4-years I learnt and applied everything I could about creating change and becoming successful. I became an expert at helping people create massive change in their lives, usually within a 6-week time frame and sometimes in as little as a week.
The biggest change during this time though was in me.
Wow, what a transformation, not immediately but step-by-step I forgave everyone, including myself. I let go of the anger and took 100% responsibility for my life and what I had in it. I developed a real relationship with myself and I can honestly say, “I loved myself” not in some vain egotistical way but in acceptance of who I really was and what I had to offer life.
Two days after my 29th Birthday the quality of change in my life was truly realised when I met Catherine, the real love of my life. We connected at a level that I had never experienced before.
It felt like I was experiencing a relationship and connection in my life for the very first time ever and it felt amazing.
My life now took a massive change for the better.
I left the job I’d had as a mechanical engineer since I was 16 and armed with all my newfound self-belief and qualifications opened a private practice offering clinical hypnotherapy to people that also wanted and needed help.
As this was going on Amy, our first daughter was born and I learnt how to become a parent. A role that I was extremely nervous and unsure about! However, I embraced this new part of my life and now consider myself to be incredibly lucky to be able to spend the amount of time I do with my kids.
As my work experience and reputation for creating massive change as a clinical hypnotherapist grew I started working with a small number of small business owners. These were people that felt incredibly stressed, who weren’t sleeping properly, had poor relationships with loved ones and in some cases were drinking and smoking way too much.
Sound like a familiar pattern?
As I was working with these business owners I found that the cause of their stress was their business. More specifically it was usually due to a lack of effective delegation, organisational planning and profitable sales and marketing strategies.
To my amazement I found that I was able to offer guidance and ideas on how to overcome these business issues, create a positive mindset, which in turn would reduce the stress the business owner felt.
I started to get really positive feedback about how my ideas had been responsible for increasing turning, profit and improving the day-to-day running of these businesses.
All of a sudden more business owners sought me out for my ideas and I began creating no/low cost marketing and business development strategies for these business owners.
Again, I invested my time and money and learnt everything I could from the experts about growing small businesses so I could share this expert knowledge with others.
These experiences and the education I’ve acquired over the past 30 years has provided me with one clear distinction concerning success and what you experience in life.
The key distinction of success and your life…
Success and the results you achieve in life are down to one thing…
You see, what I have seen and experienced time and time again is that just reading or listening to someone talk about success, self-improvement, business growth, overcoming phobias, becoming more confident, improving your sales skills or whatever it is you want to achieve. Nothing will change you, until you take action with the knowledge you’ve received.
People with the right mindset take action, they don’t wait until the time is right, they don’t make excuses, they seek people out who will help them in their journey and they follow through with what they say they will do.
That is the key distinction between those that achieve success and those people that are always just about to do something or complaining about what’s happening to them.
People like you and I deserve to feel successful, to feel loved, to have a healthy self-relationship, to make money, to have a successful business, to let go of our anger and self-limiting beliefs and to be the very best we can be.
If you’d like to know more about me and my work check out my website: http://www.mikefountain.co.uk
My final question before I finish this is:
Now that you know a bit more about me, who are you, what’s your story, what are your dreams and how are you doing with those dreams?
Have you ever given it any thought?
This is just a super short message about getting off your arse and doing something worthwhile with your life and business.
Instead of me talking or writing my thoughts (for the moment) I decided to post a video about “EATING A FROG”!
This video represents much more to me than just getting the horrible things out of the way first. It also represents getting FEAR out of the way and doing what you’d like to do but have just lacked the courage.
It’s about doing what YOU want to do rather then doing what is expected, just because the expected is comfortable and safe.
It’s about standing up and making a difference.
Standing up against the conformity of everyday expectation and leading change, as opposed to waiting for change to happen.
This is about making a difference.
I’m making a difference and I’d like you to be a part of it.
It’s starting with one huge value workshop later this month.
To be a part of this click here to see the website, if this sounds like you want or need to be a part of this then register and make a commitment to change. 🙂
Be different, be amazing
PS. Let’s get this message out and about to as many people as we can. Your help will make a difference. So, please share this post around, tell everyone
Hi, in this short video I talk about the benefits that I and many more people get when they belong to a mastermind group.
Regardless if you are experienced in mastermind groups or if you’ve never thought about a mastermind group before, this video is worth watching, it could offer you something new.
Leave a comment or two and let me know your thoughts about the video and your experiences of mastermind groups.
Have a great week 🙂
Get inside the tribe…
…because you don’t want to miss out on all the insider info that I only share with my followers!
As part of my business I invest up to 10 hours per week on the phone talking to small business owners, many of which are a perfect fit for either the mastermind or mentorship programs I offer.
What I have heard more and more over the past few months and especially now after the emergency budget is that many (not all) potential entrepreneurs and small business owners are adopting a ‘STICK MY HEAD IN THE SAND’ and hope for the best approach to business.
This really is a recipe for disaster!!
If you speak to anyone that has been through an extremely challenging financial situation the worst thing you can do is hide away from it.
I know because I’ve been through an extremely challenging financial situation 8 years ago, the point I’m making is that it was my ignorance to the situation that made it worse!!
Only when I admitted that there was a problem and acted with my head held up high was I able to rectify the situation.
If I had continued with my head in the sand the outcomes I have now would be completely different.
The current market and economy is very interesting, there are businesses that are closing their doors because they can no longer make money.
This is true!!
What is also true is that there are small businesses making a whole heap of money, in fact some that I know are 25-30% up on last year.
How on earth have they managed that when the economy is so shit and no-one is spending any money?
Well, they pulled their heads out of the sand, they saw what was going on and they took positive action!
They stopped just doing the work of the business and they went to work on the business.
They figured out how to attract potential customers, how to give them an amazing experience and more importantly how to get them to come back again and again whilst telling their friends and family about the amazing experience they’d had.
The business owners had changed their mindset from business owner to entrepreneur.
Now, why am I telling you all this?
Because, I feel passionately about getting the very best out of the small businesses I work with and unless more of them pull themselves together and do something positive there is going to be an awful lot less of them come this time next year.
We can’t allow that to happen!
So, what to do about it?
Take a real hard look at your business, look at the numbers – do they make sense? Go over your plan – if it’s not working or more likely you don’t have a plan – change it or create a plan and then go to work on that plan.
Find the big problem for your business and fix it, then look for the next one and fix that one and then keep going fixing problems, making it easier and easier for your customers to do business with you.
What I have found really interesting whilst I have been talking to business owners either on the phone or in my mastermind group is that we are all experiencing the same problems and opportunities.
If we stick our heads in the sand and just hope things will be OK – it is a real problem, if on the other hand we act with purpose we create opportunities.
If you’d like to join in on one of the mastermind group calls to hear about the challenges we are facing and the opportunities we are creating, just post a comment beneath this note and I’ll get in touch with you letting you know when the next one is.
To your entrepreneurial success,